Friday, April 29, 2011

2 Week Update, More Food Choices!

I'm officially down 27 lb's after 2 weeks.  That is just crazy to me. Michael weighs 27 lb's.  I've basically lost a toddler!  Can I tell?  Yes and no.  When you look at yourself every day, it's hard to see sometimes.  But today I noticed I only have a double chin now!!  lol.  Some of my shirts are definitly getting baggy.  And today I was able to put on a pair of pants AND zip them up that I haven't been able to wear for 2 years.  That made my day! 

This week I am able to have mushy protiens added in.  I was so looking forward to having eggs again.  Got up Wednesday morning, scrambled up an egg and dug in.  Nope!  Can't do it.  The texture was not good, the taste was eh, and it sat in my stomach/pouch like a rock.  So disappointing.  So I thought well maybe it was just cooked to long, too dry.  So the next morning I tried again.  Only this time I made an over medium and then chopped it all up mixing in that yummy yolk making it nice and moist.  Took two bites and couldn't do any more.  Wanted to throw it up.  They told me that food you onced like may not be the same again, obviously this was the case!  So no more eggs.  For now anyway, maybe I'll try again someday. 

I do have other options.  Cottage cheese goes down real well.  Yogurt is good.  Fred Meyer has a brand called carb master.  It has 3g's of sugar and 4g's of carbs.  It's not the best yogurt I've ever had but it's still good.  I can try greek yogurt but haven't yet.  I do have some recipes for pates, but really..pate's are best on a cracker.  Since I would basically have to eat it plain off the spoon, I think I'll wait until next week when I can actually have pieces of meat.  I did try a new recipe today and really liked it.  For 2 servings you put a 1/4 cup ricotta cheese in a bowl, cover with 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce and skim shredded mozerella cheese.  Heat in microwave.  It's basically a noodleless lasagna.  Not bad for a change.  I used the Classico brand Vodka sauce and for a 1/2 cup serving it only has 3g's of sugar and 9g's of carbs.  And it tasted REALLY good!

So that's what I'm up to.  Healing well, not having any complications at this point.  Had post op with Surgeon yesterday and he was very pleased with how well everything is going.  I feel better everyday and am truly enjoying all the changes.

Thank you all for you thoughts and prayers through this!  Now that I'm off the drugs I'll be more coherent and try to post more.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finally an Update!!!

Sorry it's been a bit for an update.  Due to my drug induced haze, it's been slow coming.  I've tried to keep most update by email or text but here's the story.

Surgery, last Wednesday, went really well. I was very concerned about the anesthesia as in previous surgeries I don't wake up well from it.  Oh they have no problem waking me up, it's just usually I wake up crying and or swinging.  I can get kinda combative it seems.  I let my favorite man in the world that day, the anesthesiologist, :o) know that I seem to do better if they don't put a mask on my face.  I fight that mask.  So when I did wake this time, I just had the nose cannula's in.  Thank you so much!  I had a pretty mild wake up.  Oh the typical pain/confusion that comes with surgery.  It didn't feel as though I was in recovery for very long before heading to my own room but John says it was about an hour.

My surgeon came in to check on me and let us know everything went great.  Where they attached the intestine to the pouch, aka my new stomach, he said looked great, went together great and no issues.  He felt I would have no problem with this area.  So far this appears to be true!

The goal of the nurses is to get you up and walking asap.  My goal was to sleep asap.  I won't lie, the pain was pretty intense at first.  Getting into position in bed hurt, opening my eyes hurt, my stomach was killing me!  Since it was laproscopic they blow air into you abdomen to help make more room, that and the gas from the anesthesia has to leave somehow and it ends up trying to leave through your shoulders mostly.  If you've never experienced it, it hurts!  Also, when they finish cutting, stapling, rerouting and restapling they ahve to make sure your new path has no leaks.  They blow air through that as well.  And well the only way to get rid of that air I have to say it?  Let's just say it took 2 days before I could pass any of that air out and was thanking god when it finally happened.

I had some visitors early in the day and I do appreciate that even if I wasn't the best hostess. My dad and stepmom came to see me.  I do remember being in a lot of  pain at one point and asking for my dad.  John called and said she wants her dad, and my dad being the best dad there is came right away.  Yep, I will always be a daddy's girl.  John brought Carissa over to see me after school.  She knew I was going to have an operation and we knew she would need to see me to know everything was fine.  She's my sweet little helper being very careful with my belly and just cuddling with me.  Michael we chose not to bring over.  He's to young to really comprehend what's going on and I felt like it might scare him to see me hooked up to machines and tubes and in pain.  When I was home I showed him my incisions so he would know that mommy had owies and he couldn't climb on me.  His response when seeing them?  "Dat's Awesome!"  Such a boy.

By the afternoon the pain was being controlled better and I was able to start walking a bit.  It really did help to get up and around.  I spent one night in the hospital and was home by noon on Thursday.  Rarely do they keep you more than one day now.  I was keeping my water down and looked good so they sent me home.

So here I've been.  Every day the pain gets better.  I am able to use less and less pain meds.  I had some bad days in the first week.  As previously posted my first week was nothing but clear liquids and that can take a toll on you.  I really have never felt hungry, but occasionally my old stomach, or blind stomach as they now call it decides to growl.  It takes awhile before the stomach realizes it's not connected anymore and the brain shuts it off.  What I did have was "head hunger".  Your head thinks you need to eat, mostly habit driven.  Much like quitting smoking, sometimes it's not the actual addiction but the habit that came with it that makes you think you need to eat.  Do you know how hard it is to take the top off a pudding cup and NOT lick it? 
For this reason John has been great and taking care of all his and the kids meals. 

Was it worth it you ask?  I'm sure there will be days where I doubt myself, but really....Yes, Yes it was.  I am looking at the future and seeing an active future with my family.  I look foward to playing with the kids in the backyard and not sitting watching the kids in the back yard.  I have so many hopes and dreams for our future.  I am off most of my meds, my diabetes is gone at this point.  I love it!

Does it work?  Well at my week 1 weigh in I was down 15 lb's.  That was yesterday, I am down 18lb's today.  So yeah it's working.  When I have a hard day I step on the scale and see results.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last Meal

So everyone I've talked to that has had this surgery has that "Last Meal".  Something you really like that you know you may not eat again for a very long time and when you do, it's gonna be wayyyyyyyy less than you used to.  John and I had it all planned out, we were taking that last meal and turning it into a night away.  We had made plans for the kids to go to my sisters, we were going to drive up to Port Orchard in Washington and stay with a good friend and his wife that has been trying to get us to come up for years.  His son recently opened a restaurant, very nice, adult only, fine dining.  This was to be my last meal!!  Well that didn't happen.  Michael got sick and ended up staying in the hospital all weekend.  If that's news to you, don't worry, he's good.  Just a nasty gastro virus. 

So that pretty much put all those weekend plans away.  We'll get there at some point, only next time rather than planning on a big juicy steak, I'll have one of those yummy scallops they serve. 

But what about that last meal?  Was hospital food going to really be it?  Uh, no.  Last night we went to the Roadhouse.  I had some yummy rolls with honey butter

 and my favorite thing in the world, steak and ribs! 

Oops, forgot to take a picture before I dug in!  Obviously I enjoyed it....

Yes I'll be able to have some steak again, yes ribs again, at a very controlled portion that is.  It was just nice to have that last time of eating without thinking about what it.  And you know what?  I'm done.  I don't need anymore.  I'm ready for food to not be the focus of my life.

The countdown is on!  I check in tomorrow at 5:30am, surgery is scheduled for 7:30am.  I took today off of work, just need that day to prepare. I'm ready! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Had my pre-op appointment today.  Met my new surgeon.  Did I mention I had a new surgeon?  So my original one, who John and I were very happy with apparently had a tendon completely dislocate from his finger during a gall bladder surgery.  So a surgeon with a finger that has been recently operated on and in a contraption is not necessarily the surgeon you want trying to operate on you.  And he's out until June.  I did have the option of waiting for him to return to surgery.  I didn't like that option.  So today we met the other surgeon.  LOVED him!  Very direct and upfront.  Great bedside manner and from all the research I've done, a very skilled surgeon.  We're happy.

Sat and signed all the consent forms, had to take a small quiz to see if I have been paying attention to everything, received lab orders for pre-surgery and went through all my medications to determine what changes will be made.  Currently I take 4 injections and 14 pills a day.  The last time I will take that many will be the night before surgery.  Immediatly after surgery my medications will change to 0 injections and 6 pills a day.  Eventually all but 3 of those pills may be gone in a matter of months.  The last 3, well we'll see.  Those are my "happy" pills and well, that's a whole different story!

The biggest batch of meds that are immediatly going away are my diabetic medications.  I'll still test my sugars to be safe for awhile, but about 99% of people that go through this never have to take their diabetes meds again.  Oh how nice that will be!!

Just 6 more days! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Listening to advice from a fellow weight loss surgery support group member I decided to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and pick up some portion appropriate ramkins.  I love ramkins, they are microwave safe, oven safe.  they make great dipping sauce containers, and now, well they are my plate!!  It is nice to know that this is the size of portion I can have, put in container, take 20 minutes to eat it.  I have read and heard all about the portions, 1/4 cup at the beginning, 2 Tblsp, 2oz's.  But seeing it in my hand.....WOW!  So this is my future folks.

This is a 1/4 cup ramkin.  Look!  A Ritz cracker fits right in it!  4 to be exact.  Important note here...I can't eat said Ritz crackers, just use them for comparison.  :o)

See!  4 Ritz crackers!  So that's the size of my meals for awhile.  Well at least after the first week that is.  Eventually I'll be up to 2 of these little bad boys.  Kinda puts it in perspective huh?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1 More Week!

*running around in circles screaming*  1 more week!  1 more week!  And I really need it to get here!  I am seriously OCD weighing right now.  I have my pre-op appointment Thursday morning at 9am.  I HAVE to be under my 5% goal!  I have been sitting around that goal for weeks now.  Some days I'm a pound over and some days I'm 2-3 pounds under.  Depends on the day, the water retention and my meals on the weekends.  I wish I would have lost another 10 lb's and given myself a buffer, butIi didn't.

I went into that last meal phase.  "Hey let's have lasagna cause I won't be able to have that again, or at least for a very long time."  That phase can be dangerous.  There's a lot of "last meals" out there.

Problem is, if I go over my 5% goal, they cancel my surgery.  I am under it, 3lb's under right now.  I am just so stressed that I'm gonna bloat up and fail my weigh in on thursday!!  It's all so close it's almost unfathomable. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So I keep getting asked questions about what I’m going to be able to eat after surgery.  Thought I would share my menu with you all here!  I know it’s crazy but everyone I have talked to that has had this surgery says it’s no problem.  So here it is, also important to note, I have strict instructions, if it’s not on this list, I CANNOT have it!!

Week 1 :  Clear liquid diet, no carbonated drinks, no caffeine, only calorie free liquids. 
Options:  Water, Crystal lite, her tea, sugar-free jell-o, sf popsicle, chicken, beef or veggie broth, propel, iced botanicals, sobe lean, diet Snapple, vitamin water, cystal lite protein water.
Goal: sip 2-3 oz per hour, slowly increaset to 4 oz per hour, goal by end of week” 48 oz fluids daily.

Week 2:  Continue with liquids.  Begin Creamy Food Phase
Options: Week 1 choices, plus:  Creamy soups, no chunks (blend or process through a strainer), cream of wheat or rice cereal, no- sugar added smooth yougurt, no fruit pieces or seeds, sugar free instant pudding.
Goal:  Fluids--continue at 48oz daily max unil MD instructs you to increase, creamy foods--2 tbsp to ¼ c, 3 times per day. STOP EATING WHEN FULL

WEEK 3: for fluids, same rules apply as previous weeks, begin Mushy Food Phase, No more creamy food except for low fat or Carbmaster yogurt
Options: do not drink any liquid with meals, stop drinking 30 min before meal and no drink for 60 minute after meals, can rinse and spit.  Mushy foods can be scambled or poached eggs, or egg substitute, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, laughing cow cheese, high-protien yogurt, smooth pureed meat, baby meat sticks, NOT Vienna sausages, smooth meat spreads/pates.  Chew all foods thoroughly, take 20-30 minutes to eat a meal and take small bites.
Goals: increase fluids to 64oz day minimum, no gulping!!  2 tblsp to ¼ cup mushy foods three times a day.  Start bariatric vitamin supplements, 6 per day, 2 with each meal.

Week 4-6 :  same liquids, transistion to soft moist protein foods
Options:  same mushy foods as above, no longer need the meat pastes though,.  Can also add, poultry,(dark meat is moister, shellfish, fish very tender red meats, natural cheeses, tofu, tempeh, moist ground meats and thin sliced meats.
Goals: 64 oz's of fluids a day, ¼ cup protein meals three times a day

So that’s up through week 6.  If it’s not listed I can’t eat it.  Also just because it’s listed doesn’t mean I may get to eat it!  A lot of people I have talked to have said that for some reason they just can’t do red meat after surgery,   doesn’t sit well.  So really I have to see what works best for me.  I am looking forward to the shellfish though.  Crab is so soft and moist and my favorite thing in the world.  Just think I can go to dinner with hubby, he gets a steak and adds on crab legs.  Cheap dinner for me!!  Plus I figure as long as it takes to crack those legs open it will make me eat slower.  Just one of the things I have planned for my future!

Pretty much week 6 continues on for awhile, around the 4th-5th month they will start to add cooked vegetables back in my diet, but only about 1-2Tbsp per meal and only after eating my protein first. 

At 6 months I can add in 1-2 Tbsp of raw veggies and then fruit, but again, only after having my protein first.  They really want you to get protien in before filling up on ANYTHING else!

6-9 months I will be having 3 meals daily, ¼-1/2 cup per meal total.  At least ¼ of that meal must be protein.  Carbs are avoided until weight goal is met.  When that happens, you can progress to non-bread type of carbs by gradually adding small amounts at each meal, appropriate carbs can be potatoes, corn, peas, winter squash, brown rice, whole grain pasta, 2Tbsp is the portion size. 

9 months and beyond, avoid all bread products, including crackers for the first year after surgery.  Another side effect of this surgery is bypass patients just can’t stomach bread anymore, it’s just too hard to digest.

So that’s it.  Notice there is no milk and no sugar.  There’s a reason for that, and I will get to that one,…..NEXT!!  :o)